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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Four Women Admit Conspiracy To Distribute Thousands Of Oxycodone Pills In Hunterdon County, New Jersey

TRENTON, N.J. – Four women appeared in federal court this week to admit their respective roles in an oxycodone distribution conspiracy in Flemington, New Jersey, and elsewhere, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Alicia Balaban, 35, of Wellington, Florida; Marie DeJulia, 42, of Lodi, New Jersey; and Michele Call, 63, and Nelida Rios, 55, both of Flemington, were previously charged by complaint. They entered their guilty pleas – to informations charging them each with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone – before U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson in Trenton federal court.

According to the documents filed in the case and statements made in Court:

Balaban, is Call’s daughter and DeJulia’s friend. From April 2016 through December 2017, Balaban, Call, and Rios worked together to secure prescriptions for oxycodone, fill them at pharmacies in Flemington, and then distribute the pills to DeJulia from Call’s and Rios’ Flemington residences for resale. The conspirators distributed thousands of 30 mg oxycodone pills.

Each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million or twice the gross gain or loss caused by the offense. Sentencing for Rios and Balaban is scheduled for July 20, 2018, and for Call and DeJulia, July 24, 2018.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Valerie A. Nickerson in Newark, with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Alfonzo Walsman, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Public Protection Unit in Newark.

Defense counsel:
DeJulia: John Azzarello Esq., Morristown, New Jersey
Balaban: Clifford Lazzaro Esq., Elizabeth, New Jersey
Call: Jason LeBoeuf Esq., Newark
Rios: Michael Pedicini Esq., Chatham, New Jersey

Topic(s): 
Prescription Drugs
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
18-165
Updated April 18, 2018